MONROE — Catholic High, St. Joseph’s Academy and St. Michael the Archangel pulled off the tennis version of a triple play Friday by combining to win three of the four team titles to close the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state tennis tournament.
SJA and Catholic won the Division I titles, while St. Michael brought home the Division II girls crown at Louisiana-Monroe. Host Neville won the Division II boys title.
“For Catholic and St. Joseph’s to win it in the same year is incredible,” Catholic coach Kyle Jackson said. “We have a lot of younger guys. I’m not sure they can relate to how tough this is. Our seniors know because they’ve all had brothers who came close but didn’t win it.”
Nick Watson won his third straight singles title as the Bears scored 18 points to finish well ahead of traditional power Jesuit with 10½ points. It is Catholic’s first state title in tennis since 1996. Watson lost just two games en route to the title and is unbeaten in his three-year prep career.
St. Michael’s Whitney Hamilton won the singles title to lead St. Michael to its third straight Division II girls title. Hamilton battled to beat Haughton’s Clara White in three sets. The Warriors tallied 14 points. Ben Franklin was second at 10½. The SMHS doubles team of Megan Broussard and Kathryn Ensminger also took top honors.
“It’s just a blessing to be able to win a state title three years in a row,” St. Michael coach Johnny Little said. “Whitney really had to fight through to win, and our doubles teams just kept playing and playing. They all did everything they could to help us win.”
Camille Fremeaux finished as the singles runner-up to Mount Carmel’s Taylor Garcia and teammate Carly Vincent advanced to the semifinals to lead the charge for St. Joseph’s, which also finished with 14 points, ahead of Dominican at 11½ points. SJA’s Mikala Noonan and Madison Cefalu of St. Joseph's were the Division I girls doubles runner-ups. It is SJA's first title since 2007.
"We are thrilled to be state champions ... it's been 10 years," SJA coach Gayle Kirwan said. "I'm so proud because this group worked so hard all year and got it done."
The Catholic doubles team of Tripp Guglielmo and Raymond Chassignac was the Division I boys doubles runner-up.
Three area doubles teams made it to the semifinals. Catholic put the teams of Andrew and Stephen Beinvenu and Carson Chassignac and Davis Weston in the semifinals. Baton Rouge High’s Malini Bueche and Kelli Hu of Baton Rouge High were girls semifinalists.